Why is the building important?

2008 – 2018

The architecture of the LSI building in the mid 1800s, in the small coastal town of Bridport, made a statement about civic pride and tradition by appropriating formal architectural motifs associated with the classic world. The classic façade was designed to endorse the culture and learning that would take place within, and impress and inspire the town’s people of Bridport.

The main floor is raised up half a level from the street, forming a suitably elevated entrance that indicates the public philanthropic nature of the institute. A wide flight of stairs from the entrance hall to the first floor, form the transition between the world of the street outside, and the higher ideals of art and learning within.

A statue of Minerva Goddess of handicrafts, the professions and the Arts, is installed in a niche at the top of the stairs.

2008 – Concern within the Bridport community about the neglect of the building prompted a firm expression of interest from the newly formed Bridport Area Development Trust.

2010 – Elphinstone family court case was settled and the Bridport Area Development Trust were given time to develop a proposal to take on the building.

2012 – Heritage Lottery Fund application towards the capital cost of restoration was successful, and matched funding secured.

2014 – A successful second Heritage Lottery Fund application was made.

2016 – Restoration work starts.

2018 – The renovation project that has drawn on modern innovations in architectural design and building materials is completed and the restored and prestigious building is re-opened.